Amateur Gardening

Poor cropping


QI have tried to grow ‘Patio Star’ courgettes, but each time they have failed. The fruits start well but then they soften and rot. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?

Keith Green (via email)

AThe usual reason for the failure of courgette crops is lack of pollinatio­n. Bees and other insects normally do this. The solution is to hand-pollinate blooms.

Simply remove a male flower, which has a long unswollen stalk, and dab a pollen-laden anther onto a female stigma. Alternativ­ely, you can use a soft paintbrush to transfer the pollen in the same way.

 ??  ?? Courgettes often need pollinatin­g by hand
Courgettes often need pollinatin­g by hand

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